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Equity & Inclusion

BGA Equity and Inclusion

No matter where you come from, who you are, or what your background is, there is a place for you here. We believe our community is made better by perspectives from different races, ethnicities, genders, cultures, social classes, and lifestyles – and that all are equally important.

At BGA, we define diversity as a commitment to recognizing, respecting, and celebrating perspectives that differentiate us as individuals, as well as characteristics which make us similar. Elevating the model of equity and inclusion at Battle Ground Academy goes beyond simply preparing our students with the skills and empathy needed to be leaders and citizens of an increasingly diverse world. We believe it is essential to our mission and to the values we hold dear. 

Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. – Sen. John Lewis

Student Diversity Leadership Committee

Youth are playing a significant role in the civil rights movement sweeping the nation, and research shows that diversity and inclusion initiatives are most successful in schools where students feel as though they have license over the changes being made. In response, and in line with BGA’s strategic plan and our commitment to creating informed citizens, we formed a Student Diversity Leadership Committee. The diverse group of Upper School students were selected through a rigorous application process, and they work with Dr. Michelle Arnold in four distinct areas – community engagement, education/curriculum, student programming, and student and family support – to:

  • Spread awareness and knowledge to students and faculty while acknowledging the nuances of identity and the intersections of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, ability, religion, and age. 
  • Create an inclusive culture at BGA.
  • Connect underrepresented students with student leaders and the administration. 

Equity & Inclusion Team

Michelle Arnold

Michelle Arnold

Director of Equity and Inclusion, Admissions Associate
Monica Frazier

Monica Frazier

Director of After School Programs, Lower School DEI Coordinator, Spanish Teacher
Angela Gist-Dowlen

Angela Gist-Dowlen

Middle School English, Middle School DEI Coordinator
Myles Thrash

Myles Thrash

Middle and Upper School Learning Support, Upper School DEI Coordinator, Varsity Girls Basketball

Equity & Inclusion in Action

Xavier Shaw ‘21 Awarded Tom Murdic Educational Scholarship

Recent BGA graduate Xavier Shaw ‘21 was awarded the Tom Murdic Educational Scholarship by the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County. The $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Xavier for his academic achievements, commitment to community service, and interest in African American history and heritage. 

Read More about Xavier Shaw ‘21 Awarded Tom Murdic Educational Scholarship
Reflections from the People of Color and Student Diversity Leadership Conferences

The 32nd NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC) was held in Seattle alongside the 26th Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC).  Dr. Michelle Arnold, BGA’s Director of Equity and Inclusion, and Monica Frazier, Lower School Spanish Teacher, attended the POCC while Kendall Grimes '22, Milani Naik '21, Ashlyn Patton ‘23, and Mila Perez '21 attended the SDLC. Michelle Arnold and Monica Frazier shared observations from the conference.

Read More about Reflections from the People of Color and Student Diversity Leadership Conferences